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BW Service HX50 Iraq 15% **Signal **

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ElVsat
Ex Member


Feb 16th, 2011 at 8:49am  
Hello Everyone,

Need some help to trouble shoot the issue I'm having. Here is the break down and hope it make sense.

My system is a Hughes HX50 modem setup in Iraq.
BW service

The past 3 months I have this problem and BW tech support can't seem to help me with the issue.

The system works 100% no issue working fine. Signal 92%

Then it drops to 15% signal strength
RXCode 3    TxCode 6

Then it jumps to 30% signal strength

I have to shut down the modem it starts to work for about 20sec. Then goes back to the 15% signal.

In a few hours it works fine for a few days, then goes back to the 15% signal.

Here is what I have done on the system
1. Replaced cables 5 times ( same issue)
2. Checked all hardware ( no issue found)
3. Nothing in front of the VSAT ( cars, trucks nothing)
4. Checked on the modem SATout volts (19.4V)

I have been in contact with BW tech support but, they don't help other then say sorry, sorry and its a local issue and I'm on my own.

The VSAT is installed on the ground with cement.

Can anyone help with give me some ideas on why this happens. It has been working fine all last year until mid DEC 2010.

Thanks to all who help

-ED
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #1 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 10:27am  
Warning: Always power off at the AC mains wall switch before working on the coax cables.

A common cause for intermittent receive problems is LNB cable connectors/sockets.  The centre wire pin should be long enough to reach the springs inside the socket.  The pin should extend about 1.5mm proud of the rim.  If the pin has been burned at some point you will need to poke 20 times into the socket with a spare 6 inch length of centre wire to gently clean the springs inside. It might work, but the springs may be burned also and permanently damaged. Electronic contact cleaner spray/grease is recommended.

The transmit cable matters also as an open circuit in the transmit cable sheath will cause the BUC DC power to return via the LNB cable.

Given that you have changed the cables and checked the connectors several times, less probable causes are worth investigating.

Could the failure/recovery be associated with LNB temperature ?  Inside the LNB is a local oscillator and this sometimes goes faulty, stopping, jumping in frequency, restarting, causing the symptoms you describe.  This may well be associated with temperature changes (dawn/dusk) and also with the cool-down/warm-up sequence if you cycle the power supply. Try heating/cooling the LNB.   Try a new LNB of the same type.  Borrow one from somewhere if possible.

Is anyone operating a high power radar or similar transmission close nearby ?

The least likely cause is a fault in the modem itself.

Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2011 at 12:38pm by Eric Johnston »  
 
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ElVsat
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Reply #2 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 11:18am  
Eric Thanks for the reply

This information sounds good and more then I have received from the BW tech support in the past 3 months.

At this time the system is working fine. The temp outside is not hot or cold.

This problem starts in the late afternoon when the sun starts to go down. Same issue in the mornings.

I will try and clean the socket.

Question:" I have a buddy who has the same service with BW. Can I just take his modem plug-in to my VSAT? Or do I need to make changes to his modem for it to work ?

Please let me know?

V/R,
ED
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USN - Retired
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Reply #3 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 11:31am  
Incorrect construction and/or substandard cable will in fact contribute to cable short and/or cable open conditions. Shorts occur when physical contact occurs between the ground sheath and the center conductor. Among other things, sun transitions can cause condensation to collect inside unprotected coaxial connectors, condensation can cause cable shorts. That's why Hughes requires non-hardening silicone dielectric (electrical grease) and self-sealing tape on all outdoor coaxial connections (I use heat shrink instead of tape). But modem reaction to a cable short is immediate shutdown - no 20 second delay - a shutdown which persists or recurs until the fault is rectified. Opens occur when situations like Eric described exist, where a center conductor loses contact with  either (a) the modem I/O jacks,(b) through the cable block,  or (c) with the associated jacks on the outdoor electronics. But assuming a 100% end-to-end cable swap - or unless all your cables are constructed incorrectly -  multiple cable swaps should have isolated an intermittent cable open. And to reiterate Eric's advice, a dirty or defective I/O (male) jack on either end of a cable will produce the same fault.

If you've already ruled all that out, the modem powering up for 20 seconds suggests an unreliable power source. One of the usual suspects is the Hughes power adapter; the little box about half way up the modem power cord. They should feel a bit warm to the touch when operating normally. But one that grows hot to the touch is a sign of impending failure. When the modem shuts down due to an input power issue, there's no longer any AC or DC flowing - which in turn allows the adapter to cool back down. After a cooling period it works again for a while - but - the overheating cycle just starts over, until the failure becomes permanent. When diagnosed in time, there is usually no damage to the modem. Input and output fault condition shutdowns are part of it's internal self-protection circuitry (self-resetting circuit breakers).

So my initial recommendation is to see if your buddy will lend you his power adapter for troubleshooting.

//greg//
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #4 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 12:37pm  
Warning: Always power off at the AC mains wall switch before working on the coax cables.

Quote:
This problem starts in the late afternoon when the sun starts to go down. Same issue in the mornings.

Either the LNB local oscillator fails (stops) due to temperature change or the cable contracts/expands/moves slightly and you have a poor/corroded/burned connector.

Quote:
Question:" I have a buddy who has the same service with BW. Can I just take his modem plug-in to my VSAT? Or do I need to make changes to his modem for it to work ?

In dry weather I would suggest swapping the LNBs only, provided that they are the same type and model number.  There are several different types of LNB with different local oscillator frequencies (e.g. 10 GHz, 11.3 GHz etc.). Be careful not to loose any screws or washers and make sure any gasket and the rectangular waveguides align correctly.

Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: Feb 16th, 2011 at 4:39pm by Eric Johnston »  
 
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ElVsat
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Reply #5 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 1:54pm  
Greg,

I'm trying to locate some electrical grease. Being in Iraq I wish I could just go and buy some in the local auto parts store.

I'm going to work on this tonight since it seems to happen when the sun goes down. I'm going to clean the sockets and hope this does fix it.

I did check the modem power supply and it does not feel hot to the touch. I had other person try it too.

I will try and get a LNB but, it will be hard.

Thanks for the info.

-ED
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« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2011 at 7:57pm by Admin1 »  
 
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ElVsat
Ex Member


Reply #6 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 6:54pm  
Eric,

Just a few hours ago their was a very bad dust storm with rain and the system was working 100% fine no issue.

At this time the weather is COLD and dusty and no issue.

This makes no since.

I'm going to try and clean the sockets and hope it does fix the issue.

Thanks for all the help
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« Last Edit: Feb 17th, 2011 at 7:57pm by Admin1 »  
 
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USN - Retired
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Reply #7 - Feb 16th, 2011 at 7:19pm  
Quote:
I'm going to clean the sockets and hope this does fix it.
By sockets I assume you mean the female connector ends of the coaxial cable. You must also clean the center conductor hole of the male connectors on the transmitter and LNB. I find this easiest to do with a tiny round rasp. No need to invest in anything, even if you could find it over there. Your dental tech might be able to fill the bill. My dentist gives me a handful of dental picks and stuff occasionally, and they include a small selection of tiny rasp tips.

If your motor pool services any gasoline vehicles, they might be able to provide you with a finger full of dielectric grease. They use it in spark plug socket ends.

//greg//
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turana
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Reply #8 - Feb 17th, 2011 at 7:16am  
cables and connectors made other friends about the warnings. I ask but one: Is there any crack in the side arms of the antenna connection points? outdoor unit to move this event may cause signal loss in windy weather.
still out of f connectors, can cause a short circuit or interruption of the cable if you have any on-site crushing.
in English is bad sorry. so much going on with google translation.
Smiley
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Gary-BW
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Reply #9 - Feb 17th, 2011 at 4:44pm  
We are following the case (87084); we have identified external factors which may be masking the main issue. We would like to push forward with the investigation tomorrow at your convenience.
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ElVsat
Ex Member


Reply #10 - Feb 19th, 2011 at 1:39pm  
It seems this problem might be on the network side and not a local issue per BW tech support.

Will see how long BW will take to fix the issue,In the past they always point to the finger back in the cables or a local issue.

Everyone on the forum Thanks for the help.

Gray BW, It seems you can update the forum but not the customer or the ticket..!! ***KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK**

-ED
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A.Walker
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Reply #11 - Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:20am  
Sir

We meant external issues could be interference or some issue like that Network level there is no issue at all . we are thinking to send you a LNB and yes you may need to replace cables anyhow Gary will be in touch with you

Best Regards

A Walker
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Gary-BW
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Reply #12 - Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:33am  
Good Morning Sir,
I apologize for the delay in my latest update, however; I was out of the office over the weekend. I have discussed your case further with Mr. Walker and I can confirm that there are no network level issues. I am going to review your ticket (87084) this morning to see if a new RX LNB and cables is required, if they are required then Bentley Walker will happily send out replacements. Do you have access to MSN Messenger to conduct some testing in real time? If so; please add the below address:

gary_del@hotmail.com

I apologize for not posting updates in ticket, I will ensure that all correspondence is logged in the ticket.

Best Regards
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #13 - Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:50am  
Warning: Always power off at the AC mains wall switch before working on the coax cables.

Quote:
This problem starts in the late afternoon when the sun starts to go down. Same issue in the mornings.

Either the LNB local oscillator fails (stops) due to temperature change or the cable contracts/expands/moves slightly and you have a poor/corroded/burned connector.

Is the fault still occurring morning and night ?
Can you induce the fault to occur by gently waggling the LNB cable at either end ?
Just because it works when cold does not mean that change of temperature is not the cause.  Is the failure/recovery associated with sun shadow angle onto the LNB ?

Power cycling the system is often enough to restart the LNB local oscillator.  This might be due to the temperature change during a brief power off or the step up to normal volatage when powered on.

Is the failure instantaneous or is there a decrease in signal quality prior to the outage ?  

What is the receive frequency offset - automatic frequency control bias - BW may be able to answer this.  Is it abnormal for this particular site?. An LNB with freq offset near extreme limit might just possibly cause thr symptom - but I am puzzled by the brief 15% SQF which suggests either no signal power at all or retuning to some wrong frequency (temporarily).  Does the modem have a backup second tuning configuration stored which it tries briefly following an outage ?

Are the times of failure/recovery associated with nearby equipment (radar, air conditioning, neon signs) being powered on/off ?

Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: Mar 7th, 2011 at 3:21pm by Admin1 »  
 
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ElVsat
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Reply #14 - Feb 21st, 2011 at 11:15am  
Quote:
Sir

We meant external issues could be interference or some issue like that Network level there is no issue at all . we are thinking to send you a LNB and yes you may need to replace cables anyhow Gary will be in touch with you

Best Regards

A Walker


The information I have posted comes from your own tech's comments:

" I appreciate your frustration at the delays however we are at this point completely in the hands of the satellite operator and had advised previously via phone that no further action was required until the matter is resolved on the satellite side.

My update was provided out of hours as we were still waiting on feedback from the satellite operator I but wanted to keep you informed.

Presently the signal has stabilised at approx 77 however I will continue to observe today and will update accordingly. " These comments are from James
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ElVsat
Ex Member


Reply #15 - Feb 21st, 2011 at 11:29am  
Eric Johnston wrote on Feb 21st, 2011 at 10:50am:
Warning: Always power off at the AC mains wall switch before working on the coax cables.

Either the LNB local oscillator fails (stops) due to temperature change or the cable contracts/expands/moves slightly and you have a poor/corroded/burned connector.

Is the fault still occurring morning and night ?They can start at any time in the day. The last  few times it start when the sun goes down.
Can you induce the fault to occur by gently waggling the LNB cable at either end ?I have tried this when the system starts to work. I have tried to move the VSAT and works fine.
Just because it works when cold does not mean that change of temperature is not the cause.  Is the failure/recovery associated with sun shadow angle onto the LNB ?I'm going to make a note of this and take a photo.

Is the failure instantaneous or is there a decrease in signal quality prior to the outage ?92 %.

What is the receive frequency offset - automatic frequency control bias - BW may be able to answer this.  Is it abnormal for this particular site?. An LNB with freq offset near extreme limit might just possibly cause thr symptom - but I am puzzled by the brief 15% SQF which suggests either no signal power at all or retuning to some wrong frequency (temporarily).  Does the modem have a backup second tuning configuration stored which it tries briefly following an outage ?Not sure about this " maybe BW can help "

Are the times of failure/recovery associated with nearby equipment (radar, air conditioning, neon signs) being powered on/off ?The VSAT has a clear shot, I have walked about half a mile and don't see any radar's or signs.

Best regards, Eric.

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« Last Edit: Mar 7th, 2011 at 3:30pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #16 - Feb 21st, 2011 at 1:47pm  
If the normal Signal Quality of a stable 92 has dropped to a stable 77 for  no obvious reason (like rain, dew, antenna moved in wind etc) then interference from another new carrier on the satellite is a possibility.  If this new carrier has not had its uplink polarisation adjusted correctly then all the sites in your network will have dropped from a stable 92 to a stable 77.   If the new uplink carrier has its uplink polarisation correctly set then the only sites affected with be those with poor polarisation alignment themselves; with each site having different reductions.  Is your polarisation adjustment angle accurate ?

The way I interpret BW comments is that there is some kind of problem such as an interfering carrier and that Eutelsat are trying to find out what uplink site is causing the interference to get it stopped.  Maybe there is now an intermittent high power carrier on the opposite polarisation, such as a TV newsgathering uplinking truck.

My guess, for your site alone, is still intermittent LNB fault, with the symptom of complete and sudden failure and intermittent complete recovery, probably associated with LNB temperature changes.  
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ElVsat
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Reply #17 - Mar 7th, 2011 at 2:25pm  
Well a few weeks of trying to work with the poor customer support from BW here is what has happened.

1. I did find some electrical grease
2. Clean the sockets
3. Replaced the cables for the last time
( Same Issue)

BW support thinks it maybe the feedhorn and they sent me a replacement but, At my current location we can't receive packages from FedEx. ( I did explain this issue to Ray with BW over the phone and emails) The part was still sent

At this time the weather is read bad wind, dust and the temp is cold and its working fine no issue today.

I'm not sure if anyone in Iraq maybe having the issue's?
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James-BW
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Reply #18 - Mar 7th, 2011 at 4:48pm  
Dear Edgar,

We care passionately about all our clients and always strive to achieve complete customer satisfaction.


The part we have sent is an LNB and despite our best efforts to deliver the part Fedex wrongly advised that they could deliver, then subsequqntly informed us that the office had since closed.

The part is now being despatched to your US postal address as agreed.

We will endeavour to ensure that you are completely happy and that the system performs reliably.

Regards,

James - Bentley Walker.
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